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1993: Michael Jackson accused of child abuse

VIDEO : Police search Michael Jackson's Santa Barbara ranch

Police in Los Angeles are investigating allegations of child abuse made against singer Michael Jackson.

They have refused to give details but it has emerged that two of Mr Jackson's homes were searched at the weekend following allegations of child abuse.

It is reported that the father of one boy befriended by Mr Jackson has alleged the singer seduced the child and performed sex acts with him.

Detectives are said to have interviewed the boy and other youngsters who visited Mr Jackson's Neverland ranch in Santa Barbara.

They include 12-year old actor Macaulay Caulkin, star of the Home Alone films.

'Fair and thorough'

The singer who is currently on tour in Thailand is aware of the allegations and issued a statement through his lawyer, Harold Weitzman.

"I am confident the police department will conduct a fair and thorough investigation and that the result will demonstrate that there was no wrong doing on my part," Mr Weitzman read.

The singer's security adviser, Anthony Pellicano, has said the allegation is part of a $20m extortion plot.

Around 30 such blackmail attempts were made against Mr Jackson each year, Mr Pellicano added.

In Context
Michael Jackson vehemently denied the accusations - made by the father of 13-year old Jordie Chandler - and he was never charged.

A civil case was settled out of court in early 1994 when he paid Jordie Chandler a reported $20m (14m).

Three years later Jordie Chandler's account of the relationship was detailed in a book by a journalist, Victor M Gutierrez.

The book was said to be based on a diary the boy had kept at the time and included details of alleged sexual encounters between the pair.

In 1996 Jordie Chandler's father, Evan, started a claim for around $60m (38.5m) from the singer claiming Michael Jackson had breached an agreement never to discuss the case.

In 1999 a court ruled in Michael Jackson's favour and threw out the lawsuit.

Then in November 2003, he was arrested and charged with child abuse after British journalist Martin Bashir had made a documentary in which Jackson admitted sharing his bed with children.

Dubbed the trial of the century, it lasted four months and ended in June 2005 when Michael Jackson was cleared of all charges.


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